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Following the Sunday May 26 Israeli Operation in Rafah, Egypt has Finally Taken Side over Israel reinforced Egypt’s belief that Israeli

 PALESTINIANS FLEE Rafah with their belongings, May 28.  (photo credit: ABED RAHIM KHATIB/FLASH90)
PALESTINIANS FLEE Rafah with their belongings, May 28.
(photo credit: ABED RAHIM KHATIB/FLASH90)

Since the signing of the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel, the concept of normalization has remained a contentious issue. Egyptians have largely resisted embracing normalization, limiting interactions with Israel to the bare minimum. Consequently, official relations have remained lackluster and distant. 

Israeli policies, actions, and crimes against Palestinians over the past seven months have stoked anger in Cairo. This fury intensifies as hostilities approach the Egyptian border, particularly along the Philadelphi Corridor and Palestinian neighborhoods in Rafah, which is near the border. The situation is exacerbated by Israel’s control over the Rafah crossing.

Sunday’s massacre [May 26 in Rafah] likely reinforced Egypt’s belief that Israeli ambitions will persist, compelling Cairo to potentially make difficult decisions in the near future. 


Egyptians have a profound reverence for their military and are highly sensitive to any remarks or insinuations perceived as disrespectful to the armed forces. They view the military as the foundation of the state and are quick to react to policies and positions from other nations that they perceive as underestimating the army’s ability to respond to threats against national security. This sensitivity explains their vehement responses to the offensive campaigns by the terrorist Brotherhood organization against the army and its personnel. 

Egyptians’ pride in their military is further emboldened whenever Israeli officials make statements that undermine Egypt’s strength and capacity to handle geopolitical challenges on its eastern border. This backdrop heightened the impact of a series of aggressive messages Cairo issued in response to accusations from ministers in [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s government. 

 STUDENTS TAKE notes in math class at Baghdad University, Iraq.  (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
STUDENTS TAKE notes in math class at Baghdad University, Iraq. (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

These accusations blamed Cairo for the worsening conditions in the Gaza Strip by refusing to open the Rafah crossing, thereby preventing Palestinians from leaving for the Sinai Peninsula. An American press report further alleged that Egyptian mediators were responsible for the failure of negotiations between Israel and Hamas. 

Egypt’s indignant reactions were swift and multifaceted, aligning into a unified and firm stance. An official Egyptian source challenged the validity of claims that attributed the failure of peace negotiations to Egypt, demanding proof of such allegations. Furthermore, the source emphasized Egypt’s efforts to expedite temporary solutions to deliver fuel to Gaza hospitals that had ceased to function. 

Cairo made it clear that it intended to import aid through the Kerem Shalom crossing until the Rafah crossing resumed normal operations. Egypt is adamant about maintaining control over the Rafah crossing, refusing to comply with any Israeli attempts to dominate it, in respect for the Palestinian cause. Egypt insists on rejecting any policy of imposed realities that Israel attempts to implement, reinforcing that the Rafah crossing remains an Egyptian-Palestinian gateway. 


Egypt will route aid through arrangements coordinated with the Palestinian Authorityand will steadfastly oppose any endeavors to undermine the Palestinian cause or isolate Gaza from the rest of the world. The resolute Egyptian position was underscored by the declaration from the defense minister and commander-in-chief of the army, Lt.-Gen. Mohamed Zaki, who assured that the armed forces are fully capable of addressing any challenges. Zaki highlighted Egypt’s historical role in supporting the Palestinian cause and stressed that current situations are managed with the utmost sensitivity. 

Before Oct. 7, relations between Egypt and Israel were tense, primarily due to Israeli actions against Palestinians. Nonetheless, these frictions never escalated to threats of war or limited military engagement. During Egypt’s anti-terrorism campaign in Sinai, the army focused on demolishing tunnels between Rafah’s Egyptian and Palestinian territories. The military resorted to flooding the border area with seawater to collapse unsupported tunnels, ensuring they could not be reused. Persistent efforts by the Military Engineers Corps ensured these tunnels were neutralized indefinitely. 

Despite Israeli provocations and transgressions against Palestinians, Cairo has consistently refrained from issuing outright threats, opting instead for assurances of readiness to protect national security. Egyptians’ unity in outlook aligns with their leaders’ strategies. While no one desires war, Egyptians firmly believe that should war be imposed, they will respond unhesitatingly. – Mohamed Salah

Global responses to the Rafah massacre

Al-Ahram, Egypt, May 30

In a rare acknowledgment, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Knesset, admitting that the Israeli military had committed a “catastrophic mistake” in a recent airstrike in Rafah. This unfortunate incident occurred last Sunday when Israeli planes bombed a camp for defenseless Palestinian refugees in the Tal as Sultan area of Rafah, resulting in the deaths of 45 people and injuring 249 others, mostly women and children. 

The gravity of this tragedy is further compounded by the fact that Israel had previously assured the safety of the targeted area, with no prior warning to residents or orders for evacuation before the bombing. 

The international community was quick to react, with numerous newspapers and television stations labeling the incident as an “ugly massacre.” Condemnations poured in from Israel’s closest allies and the UN. 

Josep Borrell, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs, expressed his horror, stating, “I condemn the Rafah massacre in the strongest terms, and these attacks must stop immediately, because Gaza is no longer a safe place.” In Canada, Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly voiced her nation’s outrage over the Israeli attacks on Rafah, emphasizing that the human suffering must end and calling for an immediate cease-fire. UN Secretary-General António Guterres also condemned the actions of Israel, stressing, “We condemn the actions of Israel, which killed dozens of innocent civilians who were just looking for shelter from this deadly conflict,” and demanded that this horror cease. 

In contrast, the United States took a more restrained approach, opting to use the more euphemistic terms and offering justifications that downplayed the horror of the event. A National Security Council spokesman described the images from the Israeli raid as “shocking,” while underscoring Israel’s right to target Hamas. He noted that the raid resulted in the deaths of two senior Hamas leaders responsible for attacks against Israelis but concluded that Israel must take all possible precautions to protect civilians. 

Additional context came from another American official, who told ABC that according to Israeli information, shrapnel from the airstrike might have ignited a fuel tank 100 meters away, sparking a fire that engulfed one of the tents, leading to the high casualty toll. 

The divide in international responses highlights the complexity and deep-rooted conflicts surrounding the ongoing violence in Gaza, raising pressing questions about accountability and the protection of innocent lives in this protracted conflict. – Ahmed Abdel-Tawwab

Fake degrees threaten Iraq’s prestige

Al Mada, Iraq, May 30

In a world where the race toward academic and professional excellence is accelerating, the proliferation of fake degrees delivers a devastating blow to the educational system and the prestige of our country. 

A university certificate is not merely a document hung on walls; it is a testament to the academic and professional merit of its holder. When this certificate is awarded without merit, it completely loses its value and credibility, contributing to a culture of fraud and deception in society. Such manipulation of the educational system leads to the deterioration of the quality of education and the level of educational attainment. 

This is precisely what is unfolding in Iraq. Forged certificates have become a malignant scourge that eats away at the academic community and state leadership, threatening the future of coming generations. The issue of forged educational certificates and documents in Iraq is not new, but it has intensified and become more visible since 2003. 

Alarmingly, the Iraqi parliament has tried to obscure this reality, even attempting to include individuals who forged their university certificates in the general amnesty law. In a shocking move that drew widespread resentment, Parliament passed a law in 2020 regarding the equivalency of certificates, effectively allowing these forgery operations to go unpunished. 

Recently, it was revealed that certain officials and politicians have been among those who obtained fake certificates from three Lebanese universities. This scandal provoked broad dissatisfaction both in Iraq and Lebanon, leading to the suspension of Iraqi students at these institutions. 

The impact of forged diplomas on state prestige cannot be overstated. Such diplomas represent a dangerous phenomenon that threatens the state’s dignity and undermines citizens’ trust in its institutions. 

When the state turns a blind eye to these practices, it demonstrates a blatant weakness in its legal and educational system and widespread corruption within its administrative apparatus, posing a long-term threat to its stability and security. The state loses its legitimacy, weakening its ability to enforce the law. Corruption and bribery become rampant, and a culture of impunity spreads, negatively affecting social cohesion and stalling development. 

This situation burdens the country’s international reputation, jeopardizes scientific cooperation and knowledge exchange, and risks isolating its universities and academics from the global community. Hence, fake degrees become a time bomb threatening the country’s stability and impeding its progress.

Addressing this phenomenon requires taking a firm stance, tightening penalties for forgers, reinforcing the rule of law, and empowering educational institutions to promote a culture of integrity and honesty. The impact of fake certificates on higher education is equally dire. 

To preserve Iraq’s international standing and ensure a promising future for higher education, the government, education ministries, universities, and educational institutions must take a resolute stance against fake degrees. Oversight and penalties must be intensified to deter such practices and protect the value of genuine diplomas. 

A strong message must be sent that forging degrees is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. The government must expel from office anyone proven to have falsified their credentials and charge them with forgery and deceiving society. This would ensure the integrity of leadership positions and protect society from deception. Only by maintaining integrity and quality in education can nations flourish and progress toward a better future. – Muhammad Al-Rubaie

Washington, Israel, and the Future of Gaza

Al-Ittihad, UAE, June 1

Examining the role of the American mediator in the Gaza negotiations requires a nuanced approach, particularly given the steadfast support the US administration has shown for Israel since the onset of the latest war in Gaza. 

The American administration has consistently acted as a key ally to Tel Aviv, backing the Israeli army with weapon shipments, despite noticeable reservations and disagreements within Congress and the Senate over Israel’s unrestrained actions. These internal disagreements prompted the US State Department to expedite arms deals, classifying them as a federal emergency, thus indicating the American administration’s evolving role as a significant player in the ongoing conflict in Gaza. 

This evolving partnership is evident not only in the administration’s efforts to supply Israel with armaments but also in its willingness to heed the Department of Defense’s proposal for a permanent military base in southern Israel. Such moves underscore a growing and influential US role in the region, aligned closely with Israeli security arrangements even as efforts toward a cease-fire or strategic operations continue. This ongoing security and strategic coordination aims to prepare for various operational scenarios, providing both American and Israeli forces with enhanced capabilities. 

The US administration appears unlikely to disengage from Gaza. Instead, it is poised to deepen its political and strategic involvement through elements of CENTCOM operating in the Middle East. This may include appointing an American commander for security and administrative roles in Gaza, reminiscent of the appointment of Paul Bremer in Iraq. 

The reality on the ground suggests that the Israeli occupation, even if prolonged, will eventually necessitate dealing with the population of Gaza. This signals Washington’s transformation into an active and influential partner due to concerns over the situation in Gaza affecting the American political landscape. The deteriorating situation could impact US elections, eroding President Joe Biden’s popularity and straining relations within his party, particularly among progressive youth dissatisfied with current policies. 

Despite these dynamics, and given the ongoing developments in eastern Rafah, the US will likely continue its security arrangements in coordination with Israel and regional partners, irrespective of the truce’s success. This underscores the primary focus of both American and Israeli governments on leveraging time to build integrated political and strategic partnerships for Gaza and the broader region. 

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s steadfast commitment to military action in eastern Rafah, despite evolving on-ground realities and calls from the War Council to return to negotiations, reflects a message of unwavering resolve to the Israeli public. The US mediates with Egyptian and Qatari counterparts to resume dialogues, acting as though political and military strategies are complementary and concurrent. 

Netanyahu’s pursuit of multiple strategies without immediate repercussions suggests top-down management, avoiding conflicts with key parties like Egypt, amid disputes over crossing openings and Salah al-Din Road [the main highway of the Gaza Strip]. 

Israel appears to be adopting a strategy of pragmatic negotiations in Rafah, progressing with security measures deep within Gaza and methodically advancing toward complete control of Gaza’s borders to preempt all potential scenarios. The US, in response, may hasten its calculations and assessments—not merely to affirm a strategic presence but to solidify the enduring alliance between the two nations


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